“My wrestle with God”

Ann Ferguson shares a powerful story about her wrestle with God as she struggled to step into what has become a life-calling for her. It’s a journey I’ve seen countless people make, and the struggle is definitely real. I don’t think anyone can really step into his or her full potential without traveling through that soul-stretching proving ground.

But the reason I am going to share the details of her experience below is because I know there are a lot of people who will relate to it, and Ann has shown that the process is worth it. Sometimes we need to see the end that we intend, so that it’s easier to keep our heads on straight when the path seems foggy. Here we go…

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In October 2019 I held our first annual Facilitator’s Conference in Chandler, Arizona, and one of our participants (Ann) had JUST graduated from the Mindset Mastery Program with Honors. She was recognized at the event and received her certificate in person, and we are so proud of her accomplishment!

But after spending those three powerful days with this remarkable team of up-and-coming facilitators, I totally forgot to make her graduation announcement public to the rest of you – our readers and subscribers.

SOOOO… I am PROUD to introduce you to Ann Ferguson as a Mindset Mastery Program Honors Graduate.

Let me tell you about Ann.

Ann was already a leader/mentor with a clientele in her own business, but saw how increasing her skill with Mindset Mastery could take her impact to the next level. So she joined us in the Mindset Mastery Guided class and knocked it out of the park, but not without first a struggle.

Here is the beginning of that journey in her own words:

When I met Leslie, I was working as a professional mentor for families who had a family member struggling with pornography addiction. I met weekly with boys who were in recovery. I mentored their moms on how to go of their guilt and shame and stay grounded even when their child was losing battles as they fought the war over their addiction. And, I taught online classes to support those who wanted addiction prevention.

I had just moved to the St. George, UT area and was looking for a community of homeschoolers where my 17-year-old son and I could link arms. I went to a homeschool mom’s retreat and listened to Leslie’s presentation. It was fascinating because she was explaining the rare faith I had had, but could not explain. It was the rare faith I had used to break from the dysfunction the drug abuse my brothers had caused in the home where I grew up. I used it to overcome betrayal trauma and recreate a life of safety within my second marriage. I used it to heal from breast cancer without chemotherapy or radiation. It was so exciting to become aware that I had been operating under laws that, although I didn’t know they were there, I benefited from acting in accordance with those laws.

About two weeks before that conference, I was sitting in a sacred space wrestling with God. He had placed into my heart that what I was doing as a mentor was not all that I was supposed to be doing. Some of my mentees asked if I could teach them how to get the principles they were learning in the addiction prevention program to their children. Teaching parents to explain the principles they were learning was not what was needed. They needed the mentoring skills that a mentor uses to stand by someone as they learn the principles. I had no idea how to do this and had released the idea of even trying. It was too big, and the company I was working for wasn’t interested in a course like this.

The idea of teaching parents to be mentors is what God brought to my attention and was talking to me about in this sacred space. He said I needed to write a program to teach people how to be mentors inside their families and with others that they had stewardship over.

I say it was a wrestle because I hit the terror barrier BIG TIME!

“I’m not cool enough to do this. I don’t even know how to start. I’m satisfied and pleased with the life I’m living right now. I don’t need more. Don’t make me be big. I like my little life. I like being small,” I explained.

His response was, “Ann, I’m so happy you are happy with the life you are living. You and I have been through tough things together. I need you to be big now and help people know how to get through their hard things WITH me. They are afraid of letting me help them. They don’t understand who I am to them. I desire for people to let me help them so that they can help their children in a new way. Mentoring is not the way things were modeled for them when they were children. They need someone to show them. I’ll be here with you and give you all you need. I will help you if you choose to allow me to make you bigger than you think you can be.”

It took several weeks, but I finally surrendered and told him that I was scared to death. I didn’t feel adequate, but that I would allow him to do through me what he wanted.

Two weeks later, I met Leslie. I bought her books and learned that there were laws that, when applied and used, I could indeed do and become what he had asked of me.

That’s when Ann joined the Mindset Mastery program. She felt compelled to get a website up and running, so that was one of her main goals for the course. She continues:

I enrolled in the online Mindset Mastery program in October of 2018. When I came to the Phase II goal in February 2019, I was facing a new terror barrier. There have been several as I have walked this path with the Lord.

I …[focused] on the website and all that I needed to do to make it compliant. That meant talking to an attorney to get the legal jargon that I needed so I could process credit card payments on the site. This included setting up the appropriate business structure. My goal statement for Phase II was all about the website, not about setting up the business.

What I did not realize is that building a website is a lot like building a house. There are lots of wires and connection and plumbing that you don’t see to make it all work. It’s not just about the pages that people see, its also about all of the plugins and coding to that has to be in place and functioning properly to make the whole thing seem seamless.

[So] The first big terror barrier was to contact the attorney to get [my entity] Heartwall Mentoring LLC set up. I have a strong internal program that is not amiable with attorney’s due to my divorce. They scare me. The finances to hire an attorney scares me. It was a big deal for me to believe that I would receive the money I needed in order to get everything set up and legal.

It felt like a level 10 [on the scale of difficulty] for several reasons. The first being that I have a strong aversion to lawyers. …All of the feelings of inadequacy, wanting to be small and not big enough, smart enough, educated enough to be a business owner rushed in.

The second reason this was a level 10 is that I did not have the financial resources available to pay an attorney for the setup. I have set sole proprietor businesses up by myself before, but for this, I felt like I needed someone to help me get it right.

The third reason why this was a level 10 to me, and this is probably one of the biggest, is because my husband did not join me in this mindset training, even though I paid for an account for him. He only got to lesson 5 and quit. To him, I was barking in a field like a rabid dog. He could not see the rabbit that I was chasing.

Let me give you some of her backstory so you can really appreciate the rest of her experience that follows. She explains:

I am a personal mentor and have created several programs. The first is a program to train people to lean into, experience and eventually create experiences that generate feelings of joy, regardless of what is or is not happening in their lives. As I was in the process of doing this the Lord brought me a wonderful team of women to help me. Some of them are certified mentors and wanted to help create and mentor the program. One morning in a business meeting we talked about what the compensation for that looked like. I asked the other mentors what they felt was a fair percentage for them and how much they felt was good to put back into the business for advertising, website support, trainings, and other things we will need as this grows. We all agreed on a split and felt really good about it.

After the meeting I freaked out!!!! Up until that point I had been operating as a sole proprietorship. The thoughts that generated the terror was… “How am I going to handle taxes? What does it even mean to me to pay mentors. Oh my gosh I’m not ready for this!!! I like being small and just making a little side money here and there. This is like big business stuff to have independent contractors…. Etc.” I responded by eating way more chocolate than was good for me! My body was not happy with that course of action. Lol. I felt weak and shaky. I’m not sure how much was from the terror or the chocolate.

The lesson in the Mindset Mastery program for that week was all about the terror barrier. So, I decided to face the barrier head on and move my feet.

I knew that I needed to get some legal stuff onto my website to make it “compliant”, but I had no idea how to do that so [that’s why] I made “Getting my website up and running”, my Phase II goal. I figured if I focused on the website I would not be freaked out about my fear of making this business legitimate. I had all sorts of resistance to talking with an attorney to help me get all the things I needed to make everything happen. Typically this is where I allow the fear to paralyze me and the thoughts of “Who do you think your are? You are not cool enough to be a business owner” to stop any forward movement.

This time I wrote out what I wanted to experience, I felt the excitement of putting the LLC paperwork into my files and took one step at a time to make it happen.

I wrote out my goal statement and included things like how wonderful it was to feel legitimate as a business owner and how grateful I was to find the perfect lawyer who understood precisely what I needed. I wrote about how fun it was to see the money to pay the attorney show up in a miraculous way, and the feeling of achievement when I put the legal documents in my files. [I had to] Break through the barrier of becoming a legitimate business owner instead of being simply self-employed. I wrote about it as though it had happened, I expressed gratitude and stepped into doing what I was inspired to do each day…

The cool thing is that everything I wrote happened.

When I first started reading it, I would feel the anxiety and panic course through me. I was lying to myself, but I kept hearing Leslie say that it’s ok to lie to yourself constructively. That is what kept me on track and moving my feet.

I contacted a friend who was an attorney and asked for a reference to a business attorney. I was trembling when I called her for my free consultation. I pushed through the barrier and told her what I was doing, where I wanted the business to go, and asked what her recommendations were. She gave me good advice and let me know what the charge would be for me to get things filed and other documents that I would need in the future. She was a perfect fit. I felt like I had arrived on top of a beautiful vista halfway up a strenuous hike. It felt great.

But I had not hit the top of the mountain. I still had to tackle the financial part.

Here remained her concern about having the money she needed to pay the legal fees. By this time, she knew just what she needed to do. She explained:

About three weeks into this practice, I realized that we had not done our taxes and that the deadline was a few days away. I really really really dislike doing taxes. This year I was especially anxious because we had had three of our children get married in one year. We forgot to change the withholdings on our taxes. Because of the marriages, we wouldn’t get the deductions we had taken in the past. The dread I felt as I started was enormous. I was so afraid of the amount we were going to owe!

I have a lot of emotional baggage that surrounds taxes so kept putting off doing them. The deductive reasoning told me it wasn’t looking good for us. I finally took the time to vision money coming back to us, and faced the pit in my stomach.

I had to face the second terror barrier …taxes.

…I took a deep breath and faced them.

One of the things we did when we moved here to St. George is to set up an office for me. I needed a place dedicated to the online training I do, so my husband decided to purchase a new computer, a desk and office chair for me in late November. As I was doing the taxes, I started working on the schedule C business side of things. I was surprised at how much money my husband had invested in what I was doing. Because of that investment, we ended up with a return!

It was just enough to pay the attorney…

Did you notice? Ann’s original Phase 2 goal was about getting her website up and running, but as she started moving her feet, she realized she had to break it down into smaller bite-sized pieces, and then successfully applied the Rare Faith principles to each piece along the way. When your end goal is clear, and you can see it done, you’ll instinctively know what your next step is. And step-by-step you get there. It’s a very methodical process, and as you learn to apply Rare Faith in the smaller things, you discover that you can get anywhere you need to go by taking it on one piece at a time.

By selecting and achieving a bite-sized piece that met the requirements for graduation, Ann made huge progress and increased in the confidence she needed to see the rest of it through.

Fast forward to now, and I’m pleased to say that Ann’s website is up and running beautifully! Link at the bottom.

Some other challenges she faced in magnifying her impact included this:

Because It’s something I can definitely relate to, I wanted to include it in her Graduation spotlight. She said:

I was afraid of being in front of a camera.

I felt awkward, not at all polished. I felt stiff and not authentic.

I had my business partner come with her camera set up. I sat in front of the camera with the lights in my face. I was uncomfortable but did it anyway. I didn’t die! Lol.

It did not turn out the way I wanted it to and so I decided to practice. I made several videos of myself so that I could get used to looking at the camera instead of myself on the screen. I am now on Marco Polo several times a day supporting the people who are taking my Joyful Heart Training. I feel very comfortable on camera now.

When I asked her, “What would you tell someone who is facing their fear right now?” She replied:

I would ask them what is the worst thing that can happen? Then when they tell me, I’d ask “If that happened, what would be the worst thing from that?” I would continue this until they saw that they could do what they fear the most. Then I would help them look at possibilities. I have actually done this several times with my mentees.

Ann concluded with these encouraging words to anyone who could use a boost right now:

I am so grateful for Leslie’s work and her willingness to overcome and push through her terror barriers. She is the inductive reason that made me believe it is possible to co-create with my Creator.

If you are starting on this journey and wonder if it will change you, or have hit a terror barrier, and are afraid to push through it, I want to encourage you to keep going. These laws and principles work. They are the laws that govern creation. As you keep moving your feet, even in the face of doubters, naysayers, and your own perceived weaknesses, you will discover that you can truly step into your genius and impact this world for good.

Thank you, everyone, at Thoughts Alive for changing my life and giving me the tools to help others improve theirs as I mentor them in discovering their passion, joy, and genius.

To learn more about Ann and her work, visit JoyfulHeartMentoring.com.

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In the Mindset Mastery program, students are instructed on the laws and principles that activate unseen help. That unseen help orchestrates resources, connections, and/or impressions that nudge the students toward all they need to realize their goal. In Phase 1, they practice what they’ve learned on an inconsequential goal – something NOT connected to anything they’re intensely concerned about. This helps them experience success without undue stress, to build the mental muscle memory they need to apply what they learn, and to succeed with a goal of greater significance in Phase 2.

Learn more about the Mindset Mastery program HERE.

Leslie Householder
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